A two-year study conducted in the Swedish city, Stockholm, has found there are real economic, environmental and social advantages of permitting night-time deliveries.
And those benefits were found to outweigh any added noise disturbance for city residents.
The study was conducted by the Integrated Transport Research Lab at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and was supported by Scania.
The truck manufacturer supplied a biogas-powered delivery truck programmed to operate as silently as possible.
The city allowed the truck to operate between 10pm and 6am, times when truck movements are normally prohibited in the Stockholm CBD.
It was found that average speed was 30–60 percent higher during off-peak hours compared with daytime deliveries.
Drivers could then make more deliveries with shorter stops at each delivery point.
While conversely, the study found, by way of two truck-mounted microphones, that most of the noise generated by the truck was not when the vehicle was moving, but when it was being loaded/unloaded.
“When assessing the noise effects of night-time deliveries it is important to take background noise into account.” noted Romain Rumpler from KTH.
“We found that in areas with busy streets, the added effects of deliveries were negligible while obviously the impact was more significant in quiet residential areas.
“Therefore, the conclusion was that night-time deliveries are unproblematic in noisy areas while more efforts are needed in quiet areas.
“Not surprisingly, it was in a normally quiet area that the one single complaint of noise disturbance during the two-year study was registered.”